Thursday, 12th June, 2014

Wayne Rooney believes that the Italian league lacks the pace that the Premier League has.

England will kick-off their World Cup campaign against Italy in a Group D fixture this Saturday at the Arena Amazonia, Manaus.

Rooney feels that the Italian defenders read the game well, but struggle against pace due to the nature of Serie A.

"I think Italian defenders I've played against tend to read the game really well. They put themselves in good positions,” Rooney told the BBC.

“But when you play a high tempo, they've struggled.”  


The Manchester United striker feels that the Italian league lacks the tempo that the Premier League has which gives it an edge.

The 28-year-old believes that if England can play a high tempo game on Saturday, they will cause Italy a few problems.

"The Italian league is nowhere near the tempo of the Premier League.

"Even when we played AC Milan, with Alesandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini as centre-halves, they really struggled when we played a high tempo. If we can do that, I'm sure we can give them problems."

Since their first fixture in 1933, England have faced Italy 24 times on the international stage. They have won ten of those fixtures, drawn six and lost eight.

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